Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Starting In Second

There was a time when the birthday of someone close to you who didn't live near you meant getting a card and a stamp and making sure you got it in the mail in time.

How inconvenient is that?

These days, all of that can be replaced by a well-meaning, sincere text message. Best of all, you don't need to do anything beforehand. Just text it on the day of the birthday.

Ah, but that's the one problem. You have to actually remember to text it on that day. This has happened to TB before.

Yes, it's Person A's birthday. Yes, TB knew he had to text. Only he didn't want to so early, so he figured he'd wait. And then he almost forgets to come back and do it later.

Today is BrotherBlog's birthday. TigerBlog will try to remember to text him, though it's not as easy, since he's on Pacific time and TB doesn't want to text too early. Does it count if it's after midnight were you are but not yet midnight where they are?

On the plus side, BrotherBlog will read this and know that no matter what, his brother didn't forget his birthday. On the negative side, BB usually binge-reads, as he says, so he might not see this until later in the week.

Better text him.

BrotherBlog's birthday used to coincide with the end of summer camp for the six summers the two brothers would go away for eight weeks. Now? It's the start of the new athletic year.

And it's definitely the heart of fall preseason around here, that's for sure.

The days when this part of campus was deserted - you know, like last week - are gone. Another athletic year is on the horizon, with the women's soccer team at New Hampshire and Boston University this weekend.

The women's soccer team starts playing one week ahead of the field hockey, women's volleyball and men's soccer teams. They're all practicing now, as is the football team and men's water polo. The cross country teams will be here soon.

Yesterday was second day of green screen photos. You know these. They're the posed ones in full uniform in front of the green backdrop, and the pictures can then be used in a variety of ways on social media.

The first day was last week, for football and women's volleyball. The other fall teams are still to come.

Yeah. It certainly feeling like a new year.

The 2017-18 academic year is now history, thought TB did find out something yesterday that he hadn't looked up before.

Princeton has approximately 1,000 varsity athletes. How many of them earned all-league honors last year?

This is All-Ivy, of course, but also all-league for hockey and water polo. And it's first-team, second-team, honorable mention, whatever.

The answer?

It's 179.

If you divide 179 by the 37 sports, then that's just about five per sport. Still, 179 seems like a lot. That's about 18 percent of the athletes who earn all-league honors.

And that's about the last TigerBlog will have on the old academic year. On with the new.

The football season starts Sept. 15 in Indianapolis, where the Tigers will take on Butler. The home opener is one week later, against Monmouth.

The Ivy League released its preseason poll yesterday, and it has the Tigers second, behind only Yale, the defending champion. As with any other preseason poll, this one is 1) fun to talk about and 2) means nothing at all.

Princeton comes off the most misleading 2-5 Ivy season ever, since the Tigers were basically wiped out on defense by injuries.

Princeton has won multiple Ivy titles when it has been picked in the bottom half of the league, and there have been years when the Tigers were picked to finish near the top and didn't. The optimism this year is clearly justifiable, with the the return of many of the injured on defense, and of John Lovett, the 2016 Bushnell Cup winner as the Ivy League's Offensive Player of the Year.

Yale earned 11 first-place votes in the poll. Princeton had three. No other team had more than one.

Again, that means little to nothing.

For now, it's early in the preseason. Opening day for football is three weeks from Saturday. Home opener is four weeks away.

Yes. Early preseason. And BrotherBlog's birthday.

Don't worry. He got his brother's text.

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